Trufflepig Recipes: Mayieritsa
We were saying. Mayieritsa. You’ve got to taste it to believe it. It smells quite good actually (that’s the spring onion), but it’s a kind of an, um, acquired taste. And I never quite succeeded in acquiring that taste. (Honestly, I tried.) My Greek husband swears by it. To the extent that during the years we lived outside Greece and didn’t manage to fly to Athens for this holiday period, which is considered more important than Christmas, he’d be on the phone with his mother, aunt and grandmother. A recipe passed on from generation to generation, with additional micro managing instructions for the young man whose foreign wife was of no use.
Now this is your chance to test your local Greek restaurant. Orthodox Easter is usually a week after Catholic/Protestant Easter. Save the date, Saturday 7 April 2018 it is. Book a table for midnight, and tell ‘em you’re coming to have mayieritsa. If without flinching they ask you for how many persons, or they tell you they’re fully booked, you know you have the real thing. If they treat it like a first of April joke, your local Greek restaurant is not a real Greek restaurant. In that case, you could test your butcher instead, and surprise friends and family with a supper invitation for a meal that’s nothing like what they have ever experienced before. And likely after.
Here’s what you have to ask the butcher (and do keep a straight face):
“I would like to have the feet, heart, liver, tripe and intestines of a young lamb please”.
All good? The rest is simple. You also need:
6 spring onions
60 grams of butter
120 grams of rice
Juice of at least 4-6 lemons
4 egg yolks
1 teaspoon flour
Finely chopped dill (a good handful)
Finely chopped parsley (also a good handful)
Salt and pepper to taste
Ready? Good. Here is yiayia’s (grandma’s) recipe:
Clean all the meat. Intestines need to be turned inside out for a particularly thorough cleaning. Bring a pan of water to boil. Cut the tripe into pieces and add to the water together with the feet. Let it boil for a few minutes then change the water. You will need about 4 litres. Bring to a boil again. Mix the flour with a bit of water and add to the broth, together with some salt. Cook gently for about an hour.
While the broth is cooking, soak the rest of the meat in water with the juice of 1-2 lemons. Drain; keep the liver, and add the rest of the meat to the broth and continue cooking for another hour or so. In the meantime, cut the liver into small pieces and rub with some lemon juice. Wash and chop the spring onions, melt the butter and add the onions and herbs; fry for a few minutes. Add the pieces of liver and fry until golden; set aside.
We are almost there. Strain the broth and put back in the pan (the meat will make a nice pet meal); add the rice to the broth; bring to a boil again, add the onion/herb/liver mixture and cook gently until the rice is tender. In the meantime, beat the egg yolks slowly adding the two tablespoons of lemon juice and three tablespoons of the broth. When the rice is done, pour the egg & lemon mixture into the soup, add salt and pepper to taste, stir, and serve very hot.
Jacoline’s culinary talents are not confined to tripe, feet and broth. Email her for the real inside scoop on the best restaurants in Athens (or Crete… or Corfu…)